Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday!

This morning I off-fucked for a ride because I'm a bike blogger goddamn it and if you can't take a ride once in awhile then what the hell is the point?


As you can see from my Strava, the ride was wholly unremarkable in both distance and duration, though it was quite enjoyable nonetheless.  I find that 20 miles is the ideal distance for the busy cyclist in that it's short enough to work into your day yet long enough to make you feel like you did something.  To that end I have established sort of a basic loop I use, and then I season to taste with various climbs and dirt sections depending on my mood.  This allows me to maintain my tenuous grip on sanity's pinky toe, though I'm always a missed ride away from losing it altogether.

By the way, there's a little dongle on the ride where I briefly considered taking a different route but then changed my mind, doubled back, and returned to my usual one:


Conditioning is a powerful thing.

Anyway, all that aside, there was one remarkable aspect of today's ride, which I will relate forthwith.  I was rolling out on the South County Trailway, which is a paved multi-use converted rail-trail thingy that looks like this:


Indeed it was just after my little detour, and as I rode I came upon someone "walking" at least six nearly identical large brown dogs while riding a skateboard.  Due to the large number of canines I assumed he must be a professional dog walker, though usually they're walking a wildly disparate array of dogs: a great dane, a dachshund, a Bassett hound, a chihuahua, a poodle, and so on.  This guy's dogs however were completely interchangeable (no, I don't know what kind they are, I'm not a Dog Fred), so either he specialized in large brown dogs or else they were all his own and he was practicing his dogsledding.

As you can imagine, Nanook the Schook and his team were taking up the entire width of the path.  Furthermore, owing to the gradual rise in the path, he was moving very slowly on his skateboard, pushing with his right foot, then switching quickly to his left, and then reverting to the right again.  It was a pathetic display.

Nevertheless, I always strive to be polite to a fault when sharing these sorts of paths, and so as I approached I searched my brain for the proper phrase with which to announce my presence so that I might pass him.  Of course "On your left" simply wouldn't do, and "Mush!" might cause his dogs to bolt, so clearly I had a lot of thinking to do.  In the meantime, while I curated just the right phrase, I figured I might as well hang back and take a photo of this profoundly selfish tableau.  

Naturally, as a recovering Fred I keep my phone in a Ziploc baggie, and so it took me a few moments to fish it out.  Finally, just as I did, the skateboarding dog walker turned around, looked at me, and then went flying into the air as though his board was spring-loaded.  Now I don't know if this is because he was startled to see me, or because he'd hit a stick or some other obstacle (the pathway was loaded with them), or some combination of the two, but as he hit the deck and tumbled it occurred to me that it would be ungentlemanly of me to take a picture under these circumstances and so I slipped it back into my pocket again.  

All of that is a roundabout way of saying I have no photos of this event whatsoever, which is why I have been forced to recount the tale using prose.

Anyway, once he'd righted himself I of course asked if he was OK, and he said he was, and that was good enough for me so off I went.  Also, as far as I'm concerned I believe I have no culpability in this incident, but if you feel differently please feel free to let me know.

Moving on, here's the definitive video feature on helme(n)t etique(n)tte:


For the record, I was appalled by the suggestion that you should hang your helmet from the doorknob while using the restroom, since everybody knows you should always wear your helmet while relieving yourself in cycling shoes at all times:


Come to think of it, walking on a tiled floor in cycling shoes is probably the most dangerous thing you'll do on your ride.

47 comments:

Bill said...

Jump in a lake!

Jake said...

Is there any means of egress between the SCT and Van Cortlandt park other than the rail trail that goes up next to the golf course? Preferably something that doesn't involve as much mud?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Right on, I like the 20 mile ride format too.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Third?

Or lost out on the podium yet again due to comment approval lag?

leroy said...

Well this is a coincidence, my dog informs me that he was opining just last evening on the requisite accoutrements that qualify a group as a pack and the meaning of Nature's We in the context of bike pathways.

Small world, huh?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jake,

If it's been raining recently and you want to bypass the mud you can go straight up Broadway along the park, make a right on Caryl Ave (first street in Yonkers), wend your way over to McLean Avenue, cross over the Saw Mill, hang a left on Tibbetts Ave and then another left on Alan B Shepherd Jr. place, where there's an entrance to the Trailway. It's a little convoluted but after you've done it once it makes sense. Drop me a line if you need more detail.

--Wildcat Etc.

wishiwasmerckx said...

BSNYC, let you know if we find you culpable?

As a world-renowned bicycle blogger, we hold you responsible for almost everything that has transpired since the Carter administration.

babble on said...

OMG!! Let no wang hang limp!!

babble on said...

Um, Leroy? Forgive me if I've completely misread that petition (SNAFU), but wait: that asshole wants to REMOVE bike lanes to make the streets safer?? Qu'est ce que le FUCK???

If only there were a way to countersign a petition you take exception to...

Dooth said...

I encountered the same skateboarding dog handler yesterday on the South County trail. I slowed down to dig such a cool sight. And I said calmly, without the slightest attitude in my voice, “I’m on your left”. He stood rolling on his board, herding all those wonderful dogs to his right side, affording me plenty of room to pass. I gotta remember to pack dog treats for my next ride.

Anonymous said...

If you'd had the bike bell app on your cell you wouldn't have surprised the dog walker and caused him to fall. For shame. 12 miles is the average Fred mileage per ride so you're on the high side of the bell curve. But we knew that.

JLRB said...

New Listicle: 7 Ways to Fall on your Ass While Walking Your Pack of Dogs

On your, hey look a squirrel

Grump said...

I would have laughed at the guy, AND taken a picture......and tell him that you're with the NYT and he's going to be on page three tomorrow, with the title Doofus.

DaveD said...

Always surprises me how many people seem truly surprised when being passed. Clueless meanderers who act like they're the only people on the entire trail. Even had one chew me out for gently announcing "passing"-- said I "scared her." I suggested she be more aware of her surroundings.

Anonymous said...

First reply ever - top ten ....this is easy

Clever Internet Name said...

15 to 20 miles on tarmac or about five on a proper offroad trail hit the sweet spot for me, too.

N/A said...

I think that regardless of the pressure you're running, we can all appreciate a good 20 mile loop.

leroy said...

I was turning onto the West Side Highway this morning half asleep when a young man on a fixie passed with "Look out Papa."

I'm not sure what Emily Post's position would be on the appropriate response.

So of course I soft-pedaled on his wheel for a few miles.

We weren't going fast enough for my Darth Vader breathing impression to lend credibility to observations about being his father (which would imply having had relations with his mother).

Actually, we were going pretty slowly just enjoying the mild weather.

dancesonpedals said...

It's a beautiful day for a ride. I stepped out of the Porta Potty on the Hudson Greenway around 170th and saw god. Closer examination revealed New Jersey.

bad boy of the south said...

Man, wildcat,you pass thru my old haunts.old girlfriend from high school days lived not far from the street named for the late astronaut. I can remember when freight ran on the old put.(south county trail original nickname)

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...WRM, what happened there at the top of your loop? Is that another walk through a mall or is that your indecision about where to go from there?

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

The bathroom doorknob probably has more germs on it than the floor or twalette.
I don't know if that news is fake or not.


Soooo... what's everybody doing about the entitled throng of pedestrians that don't give a crap about the color of the light they are crossing against nor the traffic - gasoline or human powered, that is coming towards them??

A friend of mine made a pedestrian go airborne recently. I get yelled at for warning people I am approaching with the green light in my favor. I mean, what the double U Tee F??

vsk

Dooth said...

Leroy, I just checked the current edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette, and the appropriate response is: “ y tu mama tambien.” Sounds about right.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Serial Retrogrouch,

That's just some gratuitous hill-hunting, there are various short steep climbs around Hastings I pick and choose from before heading back.

--Wildcat Etc.

Matt said...

In another lifetime (I'm that old) I had 2 Dobermans, and I'd put my 'alpha female' on the leash and step onto my skateboard, and holy crap, Prepare for the jump to LIGHT SPEED! Man could she RUN! (fast enough that I'd tumble if I tried to get off the skateboard). We'd ZING for about 2 blocks and near the dead-end I'd throw the leash and start to weave, scrubbing speed. After stopping I'd get her leash again and we'd go back at a more leisurely pace...I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. More than a few people would see us and think I was nuts....but it was a heck of a workout for her and quite exhilarating for me. If that PACK of dogs took off on that dude he'd be in for quite a ride!

Clarkey said...

When I pass someone I say "Ring Ring!" because I don't have a bell. And sometimes I fake a sneeze.

Anonymous said...

Hey that looks like my paved multi-use converted rail-trail thingy.

Jake said...

BSNYC -- Yeah I know the Broadway/Caryl route. Unfortunately, my wife, whom I'm trying to acclimate to cycling, hates riding with traffic worse than tree roots and mud. I'm guessing that there is a connection somewhere from the bridle path to the streets adjacent to the SCT, but have never bothered to investigate. I'll look into it next time I'm up there.

Anonymous said...

So, sounds like no plans to unleash a DogSnobNYC blog anytime soon to join your expanding family of media platforms.

Grrrrr…

“If only there were a way to countersign a petition you take exception to...” Lordy, lordy. No wonder people love babble on so much. Besides the fetching photo.

Anonymous said...

Cycling shoes on hard surfaces and reaching the loo you don't say. Well, in Niagara Falls Ontario, near where the Rainbow Bridge crosses the often darkly stained Niagara, there is a Starbucks in some fancy hotel. Well, on nice days and holiday weekends some riders tend to stop at this place and if they have to wee the closest option in reached by climbing a 2 story marble stair. A stair often crowded with tourists and their kids This stair has claimed many a carbon soled adventure who in middle age just can't hold it.

biorider said...

The bike shop tried to sell me a $60 bike bell. It's a nice bell, but I'll just yell "Look Out!".

Crusty Chain said...

Just heading home from a 4 week (!) road trip to the east of these United States with our bikes in/on the required Subaru Outback (cuz we live in Colorado). My wife enjoys rail-trails and at the end of two rides, one in MA and one in CT, we encountered the apparently eastern phenomena of the bike path dog team. The fat guy weaving across the trail on the BMX bike with 5 Russell terriers made a particular (and disturbing) impression.

So what's happening in the Original Colonies? Before Colorado, we lived in Alaska and often passed dog teams pulling all kinds of junk (including motorless pickups--those dogs are bad ass). But we we not ready for this. Is it some new trans-bike thing?

mojo au gogo said...

as i near the moving blockade i usually accelerate as hard as possible and throw myself into the ground adjacent to afore mentioned blockage with a muffled threat to call a lawyer... then jumping to my feet i laugh derisively and quite amusingly whip out my phone and record their reaction while offering them some quite legal marijuana... it's how i met someone else's wife... but i digress...
i usually just scream INCOMING and quietly fall off...
you seriously need a new method as i am a robot...

Persia said...

With 6 big dogs, that guy so needs to swap the board for a chariot.

I, like Moses at the Red Sea, part entitled throngs of pedestrians that don't give a crap about the color of the light they are crossing against, by calling "You'll be sorreeeeeeeee" as I approach.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jake,

I'm happy to be proved wrong but I'm fairly certain there's absolutely no way to get to the South County from the Bronx that doesn't involve either riding over unpaved trails in Van Cortlandt or riding with traffic, and I've certainly done my share of exploring. The Saw Mill Parkway shuts you down on the west, and on the east the southernmost entrance point is the one you use from the Broadway/Caryl route.

I've now fully come around to agreeing that the Putnam Trail through Van Cortlandt needs to be paved, so hopefully that happens within our lifetime.

--Wildcat Etc.

bad boy of the south said...

Oh,oh!looks like urine trouble.

janinedm said...

vsk, I usually do a variety of things when you have a swarm of pedestrians who DGAF. About 20 feet out, i search for the "vanguards" the ones who are looking down the street to make their move. I'll make eye contact with them and either shake my head or put up a finger as if to say "just one second." If you can keep them from stepping off, the herd is unlikely to follow. I'll say "thank you" or give them a nod of acknowledgment as I pass.

If that failed by the time I'm 10 feet out, then I ring the bell.

If the bell fails, I downshift slightly put one hand on the brake and raise the other hand theatrically and announce my intention not to brake. Or say things like "somebody wants to get hit by a bike today. Cool, I don't give a fuuuck!" Or a variation. I'm sure this is not good for bike advocacy, but this will make enough people retreat back to the sidewalk that you've got a window.

Since we're trading advice, how do people refrain from verbally attacking pedestrians who either make some sort of ineffectual hand gesture or sound exclamation that you're supposed to stop after you've already stopped????? It is truly the worst. I don't want a cookie for stopping, they have the right of way. But just shut up.

N/A said...

I heard on the radio this morning that the world-famous Iditarod Dog-pulling-sled Race Around Some Cold Shits has begun. And they've found Dog Doping.

What do you call a wanker of the sled sort? A Sled Fred?

Stump said...

i bet he was trying a sick dog ollie

Rin Tin Tin said...

N/A @ 10:31 - Is nothing scared anymore?

Anonymous said...

Leroy 326: In Sicily a "Papa" is the head of a crime family. It is a title that receives the utmost of respect. So dress up like Don C, and ride brother, ride.

Canadian Viewers taker Note said...

The other day someone mentioned that Babble had disappeared; and just like that, today her head comes up for air.

JLRB said...

Me fears our beloved author got stuck in the limp wang territories in today's ride

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've heard by now, Mr. Felton over at PB thought your Outside column was funny, well written and thoroughly worth reading. Good job buddy.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:45pm,

I had no idea what "Mr. Felton" or "PB" meant but eventually figured it out. How are these people riding their bikes that riding a rigid one is like getting "kicked in the crotch?" Regardless it's highly edifying to see they've got their baggy shorts and energy drink jerseys in a twist.

--Wildcat Etc.

babble on said...

Taking Canadian notes? I've been living in the Great Beyond (don't ask) and largely even without Wi Fi, though with all of the better living through chemistry effects of a Palliative care team, of all fucking things, and so have missed way too many Wildcat ramblings. But I learned something useful in all of that time away: Palliative care doesn't ALWAYS necessarily mean you're knocking on Heaven's door. (and yes, I know She doesn't actually want the likes of me.)

Marna Nightingale said...

I typically go with "What good dogs!" because a) it alerts people as well as anything b) I like to do my bit towards good cyclist/dog-owner relations (being both) and c) They're Good Dogs.